The Role of Public Service in Socio-Economic Development: A Case Study in Leadership


The Taylor’s Bachelor of Social Sciences Programs & the American Degree Transfer Program collaborated to organize a webinar on leadership recently on the 15th of April 2022. The invited Guest Speaker was the Eminent Chief Secretary of Assam, India, Mr. Jishnu Barua. He was appointed as the Indian Administrative Service in 1988 and has served the Assam-Meghalaya cadre with distinction over 34 years. He has held important positions including as the Head of the Districts of North Cachar Hills and Jorhat, and has been at the helm of district administration, companies, departments of the government and in 2020, appointed as Chief Secretary of Assam.

The webinar was well attended by around 150 staffs and students from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The opening remarks were delivered by Professor Dr. Anindita Dasgupta, Head of School, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences who was also instrumental in communicating with the Chief Secretary’s office and arranging for this specific sharing session. The session was moderated by a first semester Business major from the American Degree Transfer Program, Maya Mason Kazel.

Mr. Jishnu Barua started the talk with a brief overview of the civil service in India, and highlighted its historical role especially during colonial times, further focusing the talk on the modifications in administrative structures and functions that have taken place with changing socio-economic priorities of the nation. Modest and rather calm in predisposition with a strong sense of patriotism for his country and state, Mr. Jishnu spoke passionately about the various types of leadership, using his own life and work experiences as references.


The audience was attentive and engaged throughout with many students coming forward to post questions to the speaker during the question-and-answer session. Mr. Jishnu was receptive to the questions posed and answered each one patiently. The sharing session ended on schedule with the audience gaining valuable insights on exemplary leadership exhibited by individuals committed to a career in public services, the corporate sector and civil service in general.


“Find your own calling and do not be influenced by others. Take initiative and don’t be influenced by some fad or fashion. Be unconcerned about immediate failures” Jishnu Barua, IAS